SANDY, Utah — Álvaro Saborío and Real Salt Lake enjoyed the breakout game they’ve been looking for Saturday night, rolling to a 3-1 win over visiting Toronto FC.
Saborío scored his first two goals of the season in the win, and at least for one night eased the pressure he’s faced this season as the team’s top attacking option.
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“The contribution that Álvaro made for us tonight was hugely important for us, probably more important for him,” head coach Jason Kreis said. “I think we’re going to both be benefactors of that, certainly in tonight’s game and hopefully in games going forward.”
Saborío left the game in the 81st minute with the game in hand, but left Kreis with a cloudy impression if the two goals satisfied his star striker. Saborío struggled uncharacteristically during the CONCACAF Champions League knockout stages earlier this year and only recently rejoined the team after his Costa Rican national team was bounced in the Gold Cup quarterfinals.
“He’s not the easiest of characters to understand and get a feel for, but there’s one thing that’s 100 percent true — he’s part of our family and we support him,” Kreis said. “I know it’s been a difficult beginning first stretch of the season for him. I know it was a very difficult ending of the Gold Cup for him, but it doesn’t matter; he comes back to open arms here.”
Saborío, for his part, said he wasn’t necessarily frustrated by a slow start to the season, insisting instead: “I try to make something happen, and I try to score.”
It’s that hard work that Kreis appreciates most of all.
“I was a little alarmed to see him in the locker room the morning after his last match of the Gold Cup,” Kreis said. “He was here doing his regeneration on the bike, taking care of his body and he had a smile on his face.”
“I think he should have a big wide smile on his face,” Kreis added, “and recognize that this is the beginning of Álvaro Saborío’s season.